Roger Guenever Smith in Rodney King

Rodney King

  • This is a past program

Copresented with the UCLA Department of History and the UCLA Interdepartmental Program in Afro-American Studies

Roger Guenveur Smith's Bessie Award-winning solo performance is inspired by the late Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by LAPD officers ignited the 1992 Los Angeles uprising. Twenty-five years after the uprising, Smith reunites with director Spike Lee for their ninth collaboration in a remarkable body of work that includes the Peabody Award-winning A Huey P. Newton Story and the Oscar-nominated Do the Right Thing. Filmed in one take, with multiple cameras, in front of a live audience, Rodney King navigates the tragic odyssey of the man Smith calls "the first reality TV star." (2017, dir. Spike Lee, 60 min.)   

Followed by a Q&A with Roger Guenveur Smith and UC Santa Barbara Professor Stephanie Batiste. Unfortunately Spike Lee will not be attending.

The screening and discussion is followed by a reception with the artists in the Hammer's courtyard, featuring the a live DJ set by the film's composer Marc Anthony Thompson (aka Chocolate Genius).

All Hammer public programs are free and made possible by a major gift from an anonymous donor.

Generous support is also provided by Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy, Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley, an anonymous donor, The Samuel Goldwyn Foundation, and all Hammer members.

The Hammer’s digital presentation of its public programs is made possible by the Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Foundation.